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Motorsport is(nt) a mans world

Anyone who knows me well will know I enjoy motor-sport, and when I talk about it to other people I’m met with the sentence ‘Oh, you like F1? I didn’t think you’d be the type’. Why-ever not? Just because I don’t have a cock and balls doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a meaty-sounding engine or some highly-skilled driving when I see it.

I’ll admit though, I’ve not always been a fan. Up until a few years ago I used to think the likes of Formula 1 was uneventful and monotonous, then somehow, my best friend got me watching a race, then another the week after, and another and another (he didn’t force me, it was of my own choosing don’t worry!) until I knew the names of all the teams and their drivers, and had even picked out favourites (usually ones that were easy on the eye… Jensen Button, I’m looking at you). It sort of became a habit for me, and I loved it.

Why did I love it? What’s so interesting about it? (Engage inner nerd). The speed at which everything is done. Every team is constantly driving to save time, knocking a second off a lap time is the equivalent to knocking an hour off a journey to somewhere, making sure the tyres don’t wear out too quickly (or in the case of last season, explode without warning), save fuel and make pit stops in the fastest time possible (I think RedBull got it down to 2 seconds last year – insane). Maybe I haven’t done the technical side much justice, I think it’s something you have to watch for yourself, but there is another aspect to Formula 1 that I enjoy.

Formula 1 is essentially a glorified soap opera. Not a race goes by without someone kicking off about something. For example, last season was incredibly tense at Red Bull between drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel (I like to call him the Justin Bieber of F1, he’s that infuriating). After a race in Malaysia where Webber was leading but Seb was complaining he could go ‘so much faster’ and decided to overtake him within the last few laps of the race, disobeying team orders and seriously pissing off an Aussie… something you don’t want to do at the best of times. This year there’s a spat between team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, both in good stead to win the championship and both constantly fighting for 1st during the race. But this season isn’t all about the men.

Finally Women are creeping their way into the driving seat, with Susie Wolff as a test driver for Williams Martini (a team with Claire Williams at the top), who is frequently a discussion point for F1 Analysis shows, and drivers Katherine Legge and Micheala Cerrutti in Formula E, a series that is about to make its debut in Beijing this September.

I’ve mentioned before, I love Formula 1, but I think I’d go as far as saying I love Formula E more, simply because of the acceptance of women drivers and the attitude it has towards the environment. The difference between this and Formula 1 is that the cars don’t run on petrol. They are powered by electricity, reducing the series’ carbon footprint, pioneering new technology and changing the opinions of petrol-heads everywhere (*cough* Jeremy Clarkson *cough*). In my opinion, there is much more to it than the technology. Of course it’s doing good for the environment, but it’s also opening up doors for women to have an active interest in motor-sport, and if more women are interested in it then maybe we’ll see even more female drivers.

After all, why shouldn’t we show them how it’s done? The sky is the limit ladies!

Comments

  • I love Sunday afternoons in front of the World Superbikes or the Moto Gp! Growing up surrounded by motorbikes and living on the Isle of Man I sort of didn’t have a choice but to like them. When I was young however I didn’t really enjoy being dragged around but now I am older I really admire and appreciate what these guys (and girls!) do. x

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